|Flip flop and island flowers add to the Hawaiian themed party.|
My little girl turns 8 this weekend. Yikes, eight years. That's 2,922 days (including leap years). Wow, where has time gone? This birthday makes me especially nostalgic. You see she was born just before the Summer Olympics in 2004. The theme of those games was "Welcome Home" - just like we were welcoming home our daughter. And since Athens is 10 hours ahead of Vancouver, my daughter and I spent a lot of late nights and early morning feedings snuggled up on our Ikea couch watching the Games. They were special bonding moments even if she doesn't remember them!
In 2010, Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics. The feeling in the city was electric - just walking downtown amongst all of the athletes and visitors was as fun as attending the events. My daughter and I went to a skating event to watch Patrick Chan (Canadian Champion) work his magic. And our entire family went to curling and took in many of the free events throughout the city. It was an unforgettable time. I'm sure many Londoners are experiencing the same sense of pride and excitement as we did in 2010.
This year as we watch many Olympic events, our kids are once again caught up in the talent and spirit of the Games. In fact, after watching a day of swimming events my daughter has decided that she will be an Olympic swimmer when she is 16. She's written out her training plan which includes swimming laps four days a week and improving her diving! But isn't that what the Olympics and being 8 yrs old is all about - dreaming big, believing in yourself and living life to the max.
|The big "8".|
For her birthday party last weekend, we had not an Olympic theme but Hawaiian (she really wanted to wear grass skirts :).
We decorated the house and yard with dozens of leis, paper lanterns, Hawaiian cut outs, flowers, blow up aquatic animals, and fish nets. All the kids had leis and grass skirts and name tags with their Hawaiian names printed on them. We also purchased plastic pineapple cups that we filled with "Hawaiian" punch. We downloaded Hawaiian music (with some steel drums thrown in and, of course, a little Carly Rae Jepson).
|I love these flip-flop cookies, how about you?|
The kids played games including pin the coconut on the palm tree, the limbo, sack races, bobbing for apples, Hula hooping, and hula dancing. The kids also had their own conga line.
|Hawaiian themed birthday treats!|
For lunch we made Hawaiian nachos (OK so nachos aren't Hawaiian but who cares, they're nachos!), fruit, flop-flop cookies, beach bear cupcakes and bears at the beach cake.
|Beach bear cupcakes hide a colourful surprise inside.|
|Bear- on-vacation cake is easy and sure to please.|
Recipe ScheduleOver the next few days I will post recipes for the flip-flop cookies, beach bear cupcakes and the "bears on vacation" cake.
The cupcakes are really vanilla cake dyed with various colours to make them more festive and the icing is a simple vanilla butter cream dyed blue. The little cake on top is a simple 6 inch cake that is beautifully buttery and moist.
The flip-flop cookies are two recipes - one a chocolate cookie from Lilaloa. I recommend trying them - they don't spread and taste like a brownie cookie. Yum. The other is an easy and delicious a simple butter cookie originally from Cook's Illustrated. It stands up well to rolling and cut outs. The icing is royal icing with little candy flowers as the toe piece.
Hawaiian Themed Party Recipe #1
Warning: These cookies take time - at least 2-3, maybe 4, days. If I were you, I'd bake the cookies on day 1, decorate the base on day 2 and the toe piece on day 3 - they still need another day to dry!
Learn from me: Leave time! The first time I made them my flooding icing was too thin and it took 2 days to dry!!!!!
Luckily these cookies keep well!
2-1/2 c all purpose flour
3/4 c berry sugar
1/4 tsp salt
16 tbsp or 1/2 c unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp cream cheese, at room temperature
What to do
- Using your stand mixer and the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar and salt on lowest speed for 10 seconds.
- Add butter by the tbsp and mix until dough comes together in a crumbly like consistency (a minute or two).
- Add cream cheese and vanilla and mix until dough comes together into large clump and isn't sticking to sides of bowl.
- Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten slightly.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Roll out dough so it's about 1/8 inch thick.
- Cut into flip flops using cookie cutter. Place cookies on cookie pan with parchment or silpat. Cookies should be about 2 inches apart.
- Place pan in fridge for ten minutes.
- Place pan in oven and bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are golden.
- Let cool five minutes and then remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
- Re-roll remaining dough (if if too soft refrigerate for ten minutes) and repeat.
- Use second half dough in the same way.
- Makes about 36 cookies.
- Cool completely before decorating!
icing bags or Ziploc
decorating tip #2 (Wilton)Ingredients
Pre-made royal icing mix. (I use a powder that I only have to add water to.)
Teal blue food colouring (or whatever colour you want to use for base)
Pink food colouring for toe piece or leave white
pre-made candy flowers (optional) - I buy mine here at Scoop 'n Save - great little shop in Langley - they even have mail-order!
36 flip-flop cookies
What to do
Step one - base of flip-flop
- Outline each flip-flop by attaching the #2 tip to your decorating bag and filling the bag with royal icing you have made to a piping consistency. Try to get as close to the edge as possible.
- Using another bag with a slightly bigger tip or using a Ziploc bag with a small corner cut off fill with royal icing that has a flood consistency. "Flood" or fill each cookie with the same colour royal icing overnight as your outline.
- These must now dry before you can add the toe piece - let them dry over night or 8-10 hours.
Step 2 - Toe Piece
- Make more royal icing - about 1/4 the amount as in Step 1.
- Leave white or colour as desired.
- Pipe toe piece outline and then using flood consistency fill in the toe piece.
- If desired add flower candy.
- Let dry 12 - 24 hours.
If royal icing scares you or haven't used it before read this post from Lilaloa. She is brilliant and an excellent teacher!
Check back in the next couple days for the recipe for "Beach Bear" Cupcakes!